Background and Context:
Breast cancer survivors face several challenges from physical, emotional and social. Female Breast cancer survivors in Saudi Arabia are no different. One area that is neglected is lack of awareness in survivorship and the transition from treatment phase to survivorship phase. Benchmarking indicates a big gap between Zahra Breast Cancer Association and International partners in the area of survivorship.
A group was formed to raise awareness about survivorship and psychoeducate survivors in skills that would help them cope with daily life challenges to improve quality of life. It is a 6 weeks intervention group, each session 90 minutes for breast cancer survivors who met the criteria for the study.
This study involved a small sample of 7 survivors, criteria from 22 survivors accepted to attend the first trial. The educational group is led by two psychologists. The sessions also include other health care professionals to cover multiple health education areas. Qualitative and quantitative measurements were used such as QOL, HADS and Focus group. Data was collected before beginning of group, at six weeks after group began and 3 months after group ended.
Outcomes/What was learned: Results indicate that the survivors struggled with negative body image, fear of recurrence of breast cancer, hopelessness, physical problems and sleep difficulty. The psychoeducation group has positive indication and alternation on the level of survivorship when compared to the level before the group. Also there were significant improvement on level of anxiety and distress. The group was helpful in adjusting the physical and emotional distress for breast cancer survivors. This study high lightened the importance of medical information, psychosocial or supportive care requirements in post breast cancer treatment survivorship. It also brings to attention the importance of the role of health professional even after completion of treatment.